'La liaison dangereuse'

What has the same potential, the same impact on your personal, family and private life? It's a form of escapism, a hidden pleasure that becomes a desire. Like a craving or addiction, you find yourself needing to ride more and more: Strava becomes your pimp.

The intensity of the relationship becomes all-consuming. After work, before work, whatever the weather, you'll always manage to get a ride in. At times it becomes too noticeable, too blatant and you have to rein it in a bit but you know your obsession will be back in full flow soon enough.

You prepare meticulously for your liaison with the bike. You dress to impress and coordinate every facet of your appearance. If something clashes, well it's done intentionally. You must look your best on the bike.

It's a unique situation really, a polyamorous arrangement - you and your partner know what's going on but somehow it's become the norm. Should it be this way though, especially when you lavish countless new gifts on your bike and only the occasional meal or box of chocolates on your nearest and dearest?

You and your bike; it's a tactile coupling. You grip and squeeze her, guiding her delicately through corners and down rapid descents. Your life is in her hands. If you haven't looked after her properly now is the time you'll find out about it.

Even the neighbours have begun to talk, 'he/she is beginning to spend more time out with that bike than with you and the family'. You know it's wrong but your efforts to rectify the situation are feeble. After all, who can escape what they truly desire?